Love the brotherhood (1 Peter 2:17). #9. “Power in Sameness.”

Love the brotherhood (1 Peter 2:17). #9. “Power in Sameness.”

God has created us with differing bodies, personalities, and temperaments. Add to this our different talents, cultures, upbringings, experiences, and preferences, and it is obvious that being different is being human.

When our congregations are full of brethren who look, talk, act, and think alike, we might want to ask why that is. Clearly, judging by the makeups of our communities, pews filled with clones is not a part of God’s plan.

But not all sameness is anathema. At the spiritual level (which ultimately affects every other aspect of our being), sameness is vital for the church’s wellbeing. Paul calls the Corinthian church to “sameness”:

“Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).

Although variety is part and parcel of being human, it is amazing how those differences fall away when people descend into the “works of the flesh.” It is patently obvious that individuals in societies given over to immorality, theft, and violence, all start to look and act the same. Which is to be expected: They are acting like their father, the devil (John 8:44).

Of course, the opposite is true too. Differences fall away when people aspire to a life full of “The fruit of the Spirit.” But, in this case, it is pleasantly obvious that individuals in churches that promote morality, honesty, and peace, all start to look and act the same. And so they should. After all, they have the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

It is in the context of “being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose” (Philippians 2:2), that the richness of our different personalities, cultures, and abilities find their greatest joy and use.

John Staiger


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